Rally Great Britain 2013

 

The perfect end to the season: Séb wins Rally Great Britain – Jari-Matti in second place.

 

It was the triumphant conclusion to a fantastic season: the world champion* Sébastien Ogier and his co-driver Julien Ingrassia clinched yet another victory, in Rally Great Britain. The successful duo spent four days contending with very difficult conditions and commandingly maintained their lead. “It’s just fantastic, I’m so happy,” said a beaming Ogier after crossing the finishing line. “I’d like to say a big ‘thank you’ to the whole team, because the car worked like a dream. Looking back now that the season is over, it really has been an incredible year. The team did an amazing job in our debut year, providing me with a great car and therefore making this fantastic success possible. I hope we can defend our title in 2014!”

 

Rally Great Britain was no walk in the park for the drivers, and both the drivers and co-drivers were really put to the test by the muddy tracks and poor visibility. Another complication was the fact that, while nothing more than a remote service was scheduled for the Friday, meaning the drivers were permitted to make only very limited repairs using the tools they had on board, the teams then had to make do with absolutely no servicing at all during the day on Saturday and Sunday. There was merely a 45-minute service scheduled for Saturday evening. The most important thing to remember was therefore “Just don’t damage anything!” – advice that not everyone succeeded in following. For example, Citroën driver Mikko Hirvonen had already spectacularly rolled his car by Friday, and former Formula 1 driver Robert Kubica was put out of the running by a crash.

Sébastien Ogier’s teammate Jari-Matti Latvala performed excellently, to finish in second place overall in Rally Great Britain. The Finn had a little difficulty getting into the rhythm in the early stages of the rally, but got better and better on the Saturday and Sunday, and tried to pile the pressure on the rally leader Sébastien Ogier – who responded by likewise upping his pace. “Finishing second in the final rally of the season is a satisfactory result, but I had hoped to do better in my ‘second home rally’. Our speed was basically OK, but I made too many minor mistakes to really put Sébastien Ogier under pressure. I was really keen to win this rally for a third consecutive year, but Séb put in a perfect performance here, and was therefore pretty much unbeatable. Looking back at my first season with Volkswagen, it was definitely full of ups and downs, but I now feel right at home behind the wheel of the Polo R WRC,” said Latvala in summary at the end of the rally.

 

The Andreas Mikkelsen/Mikko Markkula pairing likewise did well in Rally Great Britain, and Mikkelsen once again demonstrated his potential by achieving two fastest times on Saturday. Ultimately, the duo finished in a good fifth place overall in the rally. “All things considered, I’m happy with how things went in Rally Great Britain. But with yesterday having been so good, I had obviously hoped to do better overall. After managing to take fourth place yesterday and being a mere 20 seconds behind Thierry Neuville, I tried to pile on as much pressure as possible right from the start today. But I ended up making mistakes as a result, and spun the car twice. Fifth place is definitely not a bad result in the World Rally Championship, and is something you can always be proud of. There’s a lot of positive things that we can take from this season and I’m already looking forward to 2014, when we intend to show what we are really capable of.”

 

 After the 13th of the season’s 13 WRC rallies, Sébastien Ogier, who had already secured the world championship title in Rally France, is at the top of the drivers’ standings with 290 points. Jari-Matti Latvala came third on 162 points, behind the Ford driver Thierry Neuville. Andreas Mikkelsen, who didn’t compete until Rally Portugal, finished the season in tenth place on 50 points.


Sébastien Ogier wins the Rally Great Britain, Jari-Matti comes in second place. The video.


Rally Great Britain 2013: final results

Position Driver / Co-driver Total Time Diff 1st  
1 S. Ogier / J. Ingrassia 3:03:36.7    
2 J. Latvala / M. Anttila 3:03:58.5 +0:21.8  
3 T. Neuville / N. Gilsoul 3:05:01.2 +1:24.5  
4 M. Østberg / J. Andersson 3:05:24.9 +1:48.2  
5 A. Mikkelsen / M. Markkula 3:05:40.1 +2:03.4  
6 M. Prokop / M. Ernst 3:11:14.2 +7:37.5  
7 D. Sordo / C. Del Barrio 3:12:03.6 +8:27.9  
8 E. Evans / D. Barritt (WRC2) 3:14:49.8 +11:13.1  
9 J. Ketomaa / T. Suominen (WRC2) 3:15:52.9 +12:16.2  
10 M. Higgins / C. Williamson (WRC2) 3:16:57.7 +13:21.0  

Impressions

The rally in detail

Looking for something specific? You will find a detailed rally review here. Experience the coverage of the 2013 Rally Great Britain a second time around: every single day and every single special stage.

 

Click through each day’s picture gallery and watch video clips of each stage. The whole thing is rounded off with all of the pre-event reports and interviews. Happy reading!

Sunday, 17.11.2013


Last pictures (18)
19:50 (CEST


Classification after 22 of 22 stages

Position Driver / Co-driver Total Time Diff 1st  
1 S. Ogier / J. Ingrassia 3:03:36.7    
2 J. Latvala / M. Anttila 3:03:58.5 +0:21.8  
3 T. Neuville / N. Gilsoul 3:05:01.2 +1:24.5  
4 M. Østberg / J. Andersson 3:05:24.9 +1:48.2  
5 A. Mikkelsen / M. Markkula 3:05:40.1 +2:03.4  
6 M. Prokop / M. Ernst 3:11:14.2 +7:37.5  
7 D. Sordo / C. Del Barrio 3:12:03.6 +8:27.9  
8 E. Evans / D. Barritt (WRC2) 3:14:49.8 +11:13.1  
9 J. Ketomaa / T. Suominen (WRC2) 3:15:52.9 +12:16.2  
10 M. Higgins / C. Williamson (WRC2) 3:16:57.7 +13:21.0  

18:07 (CET)

“It has been an incredible year.”
Statements from the Volkswagen team.

 

Jari-Matti Latvala, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #7

“Second place at the final round of the season is a decent result, but I had hoped for more at my ‘second home rally’. Our pace was basically okay, but unfortunately I made too many small mistakes to put Sébastien Ogier under any real pressure. I was really hungry to win this rally for a third time in a row, but Séb produced a perfect performance. When he is in this kind of mood, he is virtually unbeatable. Looking back on my first season with Volkswagen, it has definitely been a rollercoaster ride, but I now feel right home in the Polo R WRC.”

 

Sébastien Ogier, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #8
“This is the perfect end to a perfect season. I am very happy, and extremely proud of this win, as the Rally Wales is one of the toughest on the calendar. Things have not always gone to plan here for me in recent years. We just tried to maintain the gap through to the finish today. Now that the season is over, I can look back on what has really been an incredible year. The team did a fantastic job in our debut year. They made this fantastic success possible by providing me with a magnificent car.”

 

Andreas Mikkelsen, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #9
“All in all I am happy with the Rally Great Britain. However, I was obviously hoping for more after the good day yesterday. Having fought my way into fourth place yesterday, just 20 seconds behind Thierry Neuville, I tried to apply as much pressure from the word go today. But then the errors started to creep in and I spun twice. Fifth place is definitely not a bad result in the World Rally Championship, and one you can always be proud of. We can take a lot of positive things from our season. I am already looking forward to 2014, when we are determined to show just what we are capable of.”

 

Jost Capito, Volkswagen Motorsport Director
“You could hardly wish for a better end to what has been a fantastic WRC season for us. A one-two, with all three drivers in the top five – the Rally Great Britain was our most successful rally of the season. We witnessed a magnificent duel between Sébastien Ogier and Jari-Matti Latvala. And a very mature and quick Andreas Mikkelsen, who was challenging for a spot on the podium. Unfortunately it was not quite to be for him, despite showing plenty of fighting spirit. We can have high hopes for all three Volkswagen drivers in the 2014 season. We have not suffered one engine failure during the 2013 season, nor have we lost a single chassis as a result of a crash. That is extraordinary.”


Numbers of the day.

What a spectacular season: Volkswagen Motorsport took all three Championship titles in their WRC debut - and also rounded off the 2013 rally year with victory. This statistic for the fans: a final triumph at the Rally Great Britain made it a tenth overall success in the 2013 season for the team from Hannover. The first win was celebrated in February amidst the freezing cold of Sweden. Further victories followed in Mexico, Portugal, Greece, Italy, Finland, Australia, France and Spain.

Drivers collect 25 points for every win and these are then added to the Championship standings. It's obvious that such a successful season will be accompanied by a mightly points haul: Séb, Jari-Matti and Andreas managed to rake in a hefty 502. Let's keep it going boys - next year we want to smash 600!


15:55 Uhr (CET)

The perfect end to the season: Séb wins the Rally Great Britain - Jari-Matti in second place.

A triumphant conclusion to a fantastic season: World Champion Sébastien Ogier and co-driver Julien Ingrassia have also taken victory at the final rally of the year in Great Britain. The successful duo fought hard for four days up against the most difficult conditions and confidently held onto their lead. "Simply fantastic, I am so happy," beamed Ogier as he crossed the finishing line to complete the rally. "A really big thank you to the whole team, the car performed perfectly. A great season for me. I hope we will defend the title in 2014!"

Team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala also put in a great performance, as he was able to celebrate a spectacular second place in the overall standings. Latvala racked up a final stage win with a time of 2:38.5 minutes over the Great Orme course, the last Special Stage of the season.

The team of Andreas Mikkelsen/Mikku Markkula also showed remarkable pedigree on the road at the Wales Rally GB: Mikkelsen once again demonstrated his potential with two fastest times on Saturday. The pair ultimately recorded an impressive fifth place in the overall standings at the rally.


13:40 (CET)

Success on the short slippery slopes.
 
"Very, very slippery," that was the standard response from all drivers following the first running of the Kinmel Park course during SS20. The Volkswagen pilots coped best with the difficult conditions over the 2.18-kilometre stage: Sébastien Ogier (Polo R WRC #8) was triumphant at the third from last Special Stage of the season, marginally ahead of team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala (#7). The result means that the pair remain firmly positioned at the top of the overall standings at the Wales Rally GB.


12:50 (CET)

A first just ahead of the conclusion to the season.

 

A surprising result in the Power Stage at the Wales GB Rally. Frontrunners Sébastien Ogier (Polo R WRC #8) and Jari-Matti Latvala (#7) didn't use all the means at their disposal to go after the three extra points in the overall classification, so as not to unnecessarily jeopardize a one-two finish at the season finale. Positions four and five were enough for the Volkswagen drivers to safeguard their undisputed place at the top of the table, but the final rally of the season did provide something of a novelty.

 

It was the first time that Volkswagen Motorsport have not picked up extra points. The Power Stage was won by Thierry Neuville ahead of Evgeny Novikov and Mads Østberg (all Ford). Andreas Mikkelsen (Polo R WRC #9) again tried to attack Østberg in the battle for fourth place overall, but lost further vital seconds.


11:30 (CET)

Into the finishing straight with bags of confidence. 

The leading two are wasting no time on the final kilometres of the year and are homing in on a one-two for Volkswagen Motorsport, which would bring the season to a perfect close: Sébastien Ogier in the #8 Polo R WRC finished fifth and team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala (#7) third on the 14.12-kilometre SS 18 (Penllyn) – once again ahead of their closest rival Thierry Neuville (Ford). As such, the two Volkswagen drivers have again extended their lead at the Wales Rally GB. The Belgian is now more than one minute behind second-placed Latvala – a deficit that, barring something extraordinary, ought to be unassailable over the last four special stages.

Andreas Mikkelsen (Polo R WRC #9) and Mads Østberg (Ford) are currently embroiled in a thrilling battle for fourth place at the final rally of the year: the Norwegian from the Volkswagen Motorsport team ended SS 18 just behind his compatriot in second place and is now just 1.9 seconds behind Østberg. Mikkelsen has 16.46 kilometres to catch and pass his fellow Norwegian. 


10:30 (CET)

Ogier still setting the pace over the final kilometres of the season. 

The final day of the 2013 World Rally Championship – and it is a familiar story for Volkswagen Motorsport at the end of an astonishingly successful season: World Champion Sébastien Ogier, at the wheel of the #8 Polo R WRC, was once again unbeatable on the 17th special stage of the Wales Rally GB (Dyfnant 2). The Frenchman needed just 12:22.8 minutes to complete the 21.34-kilometre stage, finishing just ahead of second-placed Mads Østberg (Ford) and team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala (Polo R WRC #7) in third. 

The two Volkswagen drivers were able to pull further clear of Thierry Neuville (Ford) at the top of the overall standings. Andreas Mikkelsen (Polo R WRC #9) was the fastest man on the stage for long periods today, and looked set to make up more ground on Neuville and ramp up the pressure on the third-placed Belgian. However, the Norwegian took one risk too many shortly before the finish and lost valuable seconds. 


09:39 (CET)

You drift, you lose: the art of being quick on asphalt with gravel tyres.

 

The “Great Orme” special stage is not only special because it brings the curtain down on the 2013 WRC season. The narrow, winding coastal road around the limestone cliffs in the northwest corner of Wales is also tarmacked – something rather unusual on a gravel rally. As such, the teams must tackle the 4.58-kilometre stage on gravel tyres. With their deep tread and comparatively high sidewalls, these are far from ideal for solid surfaces.


“The trick is to try to drive as cleanly as you would on the racetrack,” says Sébastien Ogier (Polo R WRC #8), who leads going into the final leg of the Wales Rally GB. “The gravel tyres generate very little cornering force on asphalt. Every drift costs you a lot of time.” And an untimely drift could soon see the car collide with one of the unforgiving kerbstones, which line both sides of the road for virtually the entire route. “Great Orme” has broken many a suspension in the past.


By way of exception, it can actually be an advantage in this situation to be on worn tyres. “The less tread is remaining, the less the tyres, which are actually too soft for asphalt, slip around,” explains Andreas Mikkelsen (Polo R WRC #9). Anyone able to wear their gravel tyres down to the point where they resemble slicks over the course of the 56 timed kilometres before they reach the start of the “Great Orme” should have a bit of an advantage.


The configurable shock absorbers on the Polo R WRC provide another option to make adjustments. “I set my dampers to the hardest level before Great Orme,” reveals Jari-Matti Latvala (Polo R WRC #7). “This significantly reduces the rolling motion of the chassis.”

 

However, this can also backfire – as Latvala himself discovered on the tarmacked “Chirk Castle” stage on Saturday. By the time the Finn set off, the cars ahead of him – in cutting across the grass at the side of the route – had already thrown huge amounts of mud and debris onto sections of the road. “The harder chassis set-up cost us a lot of grip in these conditions.”


The special stages of the day

09:00 (CET)


Saturday, 16.11.2013


Last pictures (16)
23:56 (CEST)


Classification after 16 of 22 stages

Position Driver / Co-driver Total Time Diff 1st  
1 S. Ogier / J. Ingrassia 2:33:47.6    
2 J. Latvala / M. Anttila 2:34:07.9 +20.3  
3 T. Neuville / N. Gilsoul 2:35:02.0 +1:14.4  
4 A. Mikkelsen / M. Markkula 2:35:22.0 +1:34.4  
5 M. Østberg / J. Andersson 2:35:29.3 +1:41.7  
6 M. Prokop / M. Ernst 2:40:29.6 +6:42.0  
7 D. Sordo / C. Del Barrio 2:41:33.1 +7:45.5  
8 E. Evans / D. Barritt (WRC2) 2:43:07.1 +9:19.5  
9 J. Ketomaa / T. Suominen (WRC2) 2:44:07.9 +10:20.3  
10 M. Higgins / C. Williamson (WRC2) 2:44:42.6 +10:55.0  

19:45 (CET)

“I am particularly proud of Andreas Mikkelsen today.”
Statements from the Volkswagen team.

 

Jari-Matti Latvala, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #7

“Our goal for today was to push hard again and put some pressure on Séb. Unfortunately the morning’s stages did not go quite as we had hoped. On the one hand, I was lacking a little bit of confidence to go flat out from the start and find a good rhythm. Then we had also marked too many places as slippery when we did the recce prior to the rally. As a result, I hesitated a little a few times during the first loop. Things went better for us later on, and we won three special stages. However, Séb and Julien were barely slower than us and able to maintain their lead. We only have about another 50 kilometres of special stage to go on Sunday. Barring something out of the ordinary, it will no longer be possible to make up that much ground. Despite this, I will try to keep up both my pace and the pressure.”

 

Sébastien Ogier, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #8
“I am happy with the way we handled this long day today. It was a good clean performance without any major mistakes. Surprisingly, the grip was better on most of today’s stages than it was on Friday. For us, it was all about maintaining a steady lead over our team-mate Jari-Matti, and we did that perfectly. As such, we did not have to take too many risks and took a rather cautious approach to the many new stages. A 20-second lead is, to a certain degree, reassuring. However, we will have to stay wide awake if Jari-Matti pushes hard again tomorrow. If not, you can be out before you know it – and I definitely want to make it to the finish this time. That would be the perfect end to a perfect season.”

 

Andreas Mikkelsen, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #9
“An absolutely fantastic day for us. Our times were good, and two of them were good enough for stage wins, so I am more than happy – especially as we were absolutely flawless today and came through each stage cleanly. We made up a lot of time and climbed two positions. I felt great in the Polo right from the very first minute today. However, it was not easy to judge the grip levels, as there was a real mix of particularly slippery sections and some with more grip. I think we found a good rhythm to cope with that, particularly in the morning.”

 

Jost Capito, Volkswagen Motorsport Director
“The job of Motorsport Director was undoubtedly a dream job today. Not only do we have the top two drivers on our team in Sébastien Ogier and Jari-Matti Latvala, but we also have a very quick and reliable World Rally Car with the Polo R WRC. I am particularly proud of Andreas Mikkelsen today. We told him this morning that we expected him to be fourth come the end of the day. That was certainly not an easy task. However, he pushed so hard on the first special stage of the day that he climbed into fourth there and then, before proceeding to open up a gap between him and the car in fifth. You could not have asked for more from all three of the pairings today.”


Numbers of the day.

After more than ten months and 13 rallies in total, Sunday will provide the last 51.92 kilometres of racing at the 2013 World Rally Championship. One thing is certain even before the final six Special Stages are run at the Wales Rally GB. Volkswagen Motorsport's debut season in the WRC has grown into an unprecedented success story: the team have won the Manufacturers' Championship, Sébastien Ogier the Drivers' Championship and Julien Ingrassia (both in the Polo R WRC #8) the Co-drivers' Championship title. On top of this, Jari-Matti Latvala in the Polo R WRC #7 still has the chance to become the World Championship runner-up on the last day.

 

Furthermore, Andreas Mikkelsen has developed remarkably in the Polo R WRC #9 since making his debut in Portugal. The 24-year-old Norwegian driver was able to seal his first stage win at only his third rally appearance in Greece. Due to his strong performance with two further stage victories in today's action on Saturday, Mikkelsen has increased his number of overall stage wins to eight. It also goes without saying that he has the opportunity of further adding to this total tomorrow in the last day of the current WRC season.


17:10 (CET)

One-two going into the final day.

 

The last Special Stage on Saturday was the second race over the 2.06 kilometres of the Chirk Castle course. Again the lead drivers lost little ground to the rest: all seven WRC drivers were within two seconds of each other. As was the case during SS15 (Chirk Castle 1), Volkswagen pilot Andreas Mikkelsen (Polo R WRC #9) again lost out on a stage win by just 0.3 seconds. This time it was Ford's Thierry Neuville who was a fraction faster than the man from Norway.

 

However, Mikkelsen drew a positive conclusion: "It's been a great day. I am very happy, we rattled off a couple of good times." The lead duo of Sébastien Ogier (Polo R WRC #8) and Jari-Matti Latvala (#7) took positions five and six respectively and remain unchallenged at the top of the overall standings going into the last six Special Stages of the season at the Wales Rally GB. Furthermore, Mikkelsen also has the chance of climbing from fourth to third overall, which would secure an all-Volkswagen podium - that would mark the perfect end to an historic season.


16:30 (CET)

Mikkelsen misses out on third stage win by a hair's breadth.

 

On the penultimate Special Stage of the day, Volkswagen driver Andreas Mikkelsen (Polo R WRC #9) missed out on his third stage win of the day by just three tenths of a second. The Norwegian driver was forced to concede defeat to Dani Sordo in the Citroën over the short 2.06-kilometre course.
 
The lead duo of Sébastien Ogier (Polo R WRC #8) and Jari-Matti Latvala (#7) were reluctant to take any unnecessary risks over the slippery Special Stage. They took positions fourth and seventh respectively, but lost little time to the chasing pack. The same stage will be raced for a second time to complete Saturday's action.


14:46 (CET)

Back in the fast lane.

 

Solid start to the afternoon session: Jari-Matti Latvala racked up the fastest time on the fourteenth Special Stage, Dyfnant 1. Ford driver Mads Østberg came home just behind him and he was followed by Andreas Mikkelsen and Sébastien Ogier. The latter conceded 7.9sec of his overall lead, but he remained composed: "That happens sometimes. We needed to check the pace notes again and that cost us some time. It's not a problem for us," the Frenchman explained at finish line.


12:30 (CET)

Just don’t damage anything.

Services are a rare commodity at the Rally Great Britain. While Friday featured nothing more than a remote service, during which only limited repairs could be carried out using material carried on board, the teams must make it through the entire day without a single service on legs two and three. The cars will only stop to refuel – three times on Saturday and twice on Sunday. The regular 45-minute service in the Service Park is also scheduled for Saturday evening.


As such, the cars must survive the Saturday’s seven special stages, with a total length of 98.42 kilometres, without any technical problems. Sunday’s leg features five stages against the clock, totalling 51.92 kilometres. “the key is to look after the tyres,” said Sébastien Ogier (Polo R WRC #8), who led the field at Saturday’s third fuel stop.


Ogier and his team-mates Jari-Matti Latvala (Polo R WRC #7) and Andreas Mikkelsen (Polo R WRC #9) each loaded their cars with two spare tyres – the maximum number permitted. With temperatures in single figures and predominantly damp roads, they all opted for the softer compound.


The front tyres on World Rally Cars usually degrade faster than those at the rear of the car. As such, the standard procedure is to fit the two spare tyres on the front axle after a few stages. “Depending on the state of the tyres, you might switch them round a few more times, so that the tyres in the best condition are always on the front axle,” explained Jari-Matti Latvala. That is the theory, at least. However, even the best-laid plans can be discarded if the driver is unlucky enough to suffer a puncture.


12:10 (CET)

Second top-three shut-out for Volkswagen.

The Volkswagen armada repeated the feat it pulled off yesterday: first, second and third on one single special stage. When the drivers returned to the 14.58-kilometre “Gartheiniog” on the day’s second loop, it was Jari-Matti Latvala who clocked the fastest time of 8:47.8 minutes. The Finn was followed by Sébastien Ogier (+ 0.7 seconds) and Andreas Mikkelsen a further 1.2 seconds back. Ford driver Thierry Neuville was fourth fastest, 6.1 seconds slower than Latvala – a clear indication of the dominance the Polo R WRC is enjoying in Wales.

“I am feeling more and more comfortable. The pace notes are spot on,” said a happy Latvala at the stage finish. “I was still having difficulty finding the right rhythm this morning, but it is all good now.”


10:39 (CET)

The Flying Norwegian.

Andreas Mikkelsen has lit the afterburner: the Norwegian was once again the fastest man on Saturday’s second special stage, Dyfi 1. Team-mate Sébastien Ogier narrowly missed out on the stage win by just 0.2 seconds. “Long may this continue,” said a delighted Mikkelsen in the finish zone. “We must still be wary, however, as the grip levels are changing constantly. We must not make any mistakes.”

Jari-Matti Latvala was fourth fastest, 3.3 seconds behind his Norwegian team-mate.


10:00 (CET)

Andreas Mikkelsen opens with stage win on Saturday.


Great job, Andreas! The Norwegian clocked the fastest time of 8:42.9 minutes to win Saturday’s opening stage, the 15-kilometre Gartheiniog 1. Team-mate Sébastien Ogier, who continues to lead the rally, came home 1.2 seconds slower than Mikkelsen in second place. Andreas took full advantage of his earlier start position, with the route deteriorating the more cars pass. The stage win sees Mikkelsen and co-driver Mikko Markkula climb to fourth place overall.


09:39 (CET)

“Main goal today will be not to damage the car.”


Victory at the Rally Great Britain looks like being decided between Sébastien Ogier (Polo R WRC #8) and Jari-Matti Latvala (Polo R WRC #7). After the opening leg and with roughly half the timed kilometres behind them, the two Volkswagen drivers have already pulled just short of 40 seconds clear of the rest of the field.


“Starting from second was perfect on Friday. Maybe it would have been even better to be first out onto the course. However, this did allow me to relax a little, as I was able to follow Jari-Matti Latvala’s tracks,” said Ogier, who held an overnight lead of 20.1 seconds over team-mate Latvala. “Hopefully Saturday will be even better. I will be starting tenth, directly behind Jari-Matti. This will allow me to pace myself based on his split times again.”


All the drivers are agreed that the key to the third day will be to avoid any serious technical issues. “There is no real service all day,” explained Ogier. “So the main goal will be not to damage the car.” Only very limited repairs, using spare parts carried on board the cars, are permitted during the remote service. The Frenchman’s main concern is that a number of the special stages will be completely new to him. “I have, however, taken a close look at them all on the videos taken during practice.”


Jari-Matti Latvala goes into the second day of the season finale a little better prepared. “I started out in the British Championship, so I know a bit about the stages that are new to the others.” However, the advantage will not be a big one. “Back then, we were driving without any practice and without pace notes. That made for the odd eye-opening experience. Plus, that was all over ten years ago.”


The Finn knows it will be extremely difficult to make up 20 seconds on team-mate Ogier, but believes it is still possible. “I lost that much time to Séb today because I made too many mistakes,” he readily admitted. “And you can only beat the world champion if you produce a flawless drive.”


Andreas Mikkelsen (Polo R WRC #9) has set himself a similarly ambitious goal for Saturday. “I want to climb into fourth place.” The Norwegian has his sights set on catching his compatriot Mads Østberg (Ford), who held that position on Friday night. “His lead is just 4.8 seconds. That must be possible.”


The special stages of the day

09:00 (CET)

Friday, 15.11.2013


Last pictures (25)
23:53 (CEST)


Classification after 9 of 22 stages

Position Driver / Co-driver Total Time Diff 1st  
1 S. Ogier / J. Ingrassia 1:34:48.0    
2 J. Latvala / M. Anttila 1:35:08.1 +20.1  
3 T. Neuville / N. Gilsoul 1:35:50.6 +1:02.6  
4 M. Østberg / J. Andersson 1:36:18.8 +1:30.8  
5 E. Novikov / I. Minor 1:36:22.5 +1:34.5  
6 A. Mikkelsen / M. Markkula 1:36:23.6 +1:35.6  
7 M. Prokop / M. Ernst 1:39:44.2 +4:56.2  
8 E. Evans / D. Barritt (WRC2) 1:41:18.2 +6:30.2  
9 D. Sordo / C. Del Barrio 1:41:42.6 +6:54.6  
10 M. Higgins / C. Williamson (WRC2) 1:41:44.6 +6:56.6  

18:40 (CET)

“Latvala and Ogier are doing a fantastic job.”
Statements from the Volkswagen team.

 

Jari-Matti Latvala, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #7

“It was not very easy to judge the surface conditions. Some places we thought would be slippery actually offered good levels of grip, while quite the opposite was true of other spots. As the first car out onto the route, we did not have any braking marks to use as orientation. As such, it was difficult to find a good rhythm right from the word go. I lost a little time here and there, but hope to be able to push hard again tomorrow morning. We are only halfway through, so a lot can still happen.”

 

Sébastien Ogier, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #8
“It is another typical Rally Great Britain, that much is certain. You can easily make a mistake and find yourself flying off the road. I have experienced that often enough in the past. The conditions are difficult, particularly on the ‘Myherin’ stage, where the grip level changed so often. For this reason, we did not risk everything all the time. Even I was surprised by my time this morning – fortunately it was a nice surprise. There was a great atmosphere on ‘Sweet Lamb’, and I’m sure the many spectators there were having great fun. You can see almost the entire route, which features a lot of spectacular jumps and the water crossing.”

 

Andreas Mikkelsen, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #9
“All in all it was a good day for us. The conditions were not easy today, as the special stages were very slippery. I struggled with understeer and had to work really hard with the handbrake to keep the car on track. That obviously cost time here and there. However, we couldn’t quite match the absolute best times – even on those stages, on which we were clean, quick and error-free. Messieurs Latvala and Ogier are quite simply doing a fantastic and impressive job at the moment. Respect.”


Numbers of the day.

For already the fifth time in the 2013 season, Volkswagen Motorsport have taken a one-two overnight lead after the day's rally action. The first occasion, in which Ogier and Latvala secured position one and two overnight, was in Portugal. The same scenario repeated itself in Rallye Germany - even if the end result at the 'home competition' was less successful. At Rally Spain the pair topped the table after day one. On the following day Ogier picked up a puncture and Latvala assumed the lead. The Frenchman then launched a sensational comeback, overtaking his team-mate on the third day and making sure of a fourth one-two lead of the season.

Just how close it gets in the WRC, can be seen from comparing the average speeds: Despite a 11.5-second gap between Ogier and Mikkelsen during the seventh stage of Friday's rally action today, the Frenchman was, on average, a mere 1.15 km/h quicker than his Norwegian team-mate over the more than 32-kilometre-long section.


16:30 (CET)

A perfect end: Volkswagen drivers finish the day in spots one and two.

One man fights his way through the dirt: Sébastien Ogier is defying the adverse conditions of the Rally Great Britain in his Polo R WRC. The Frenchman completed the final Special Stage of Friday's action with another fastest time through the second running of 'Myherin'. "It's not at all easy to still find a clean line," Ogier explained as he was quickest with a time of 18:27.6 minutes. The drivers are creating deep ruts in the already muddy subsurface. This was also noticed by team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala, who, despite nearly flying off, managed to cross the line of the over 32-kilometre course in second place just 2.2sec off the lead.

Andreas Mikkelsen came home fourth fastest - and paid tribute to the leaders: "Hats off! Messrs Ogier and Latvala are doing a hell of a job here," said Mikkelsen, delighted for his team-mates.

Ogier also recorded a fastest time in the previous stage, Sweet Lamb 2. This means that a Volkswagen driver was quickest in five of the six Special Stages raced today. This result cements a comfortable one-two overnight lead for the team from Hannover: Ogier has a 20.1-second advantage over Latvala. Ford's Thierry Neuville is currently ranked in third, a further 42.5sec behind the Finn in the overall standings. Mikkelsen is still is sixth place marginally behind Evgeny Novikov in the Ford.
 

You can find all the results here.


15:25 (CET)

A triple crown of best times in the battle of the mud.   

Positions one, two and three for Volkswagen - a fantastic start to the Friday afternoon loop. Sébastien Ogier really roweled his Polo R WRX once again in the final metres. His reward was the fastest time in the seventh special stage (Hafren 2). On the course, the Frenchman struck the same note as his team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala, who crossed the line second fastest, 1.7 seconds off the pace: "It is very muddy out there, I experienced a lot of understeer on the bends. But we were able to really push in the final section."

A strong performance from Andreas Mikkelsen also followed as he was the third fastest driver. The Norwegian is still in sixth place overall, but is now just 0.1sec off the Russian, Evgeny Novikov.

Ogier has a 15.2-second lead over Latvala, who is a comfortable 34sec ahead of third placed Thierry Neuville in the Ford.


12:40 (CET)

One-two at the midday break: Latvala climbs to second.


“I really pushed hard,” explained Jari-Matti Latvala after the 32.13-kilometre “Myherin” stage. And his efforts did not go unrewarded: the Finn clocked an outstanding fastest time of 18:16.0 minutes to climb into second place overall at the Rally Great Britain. Latvala started the stage one second behind Thierry Neuville (Ford), but the Belgian struggled to find any grip and lost a considerable amount of time as a result.

Overall leader Sébastien Ogier also dropped time, coming home 4.6 seconds slower than Latvala. Andreas Mikkelsen was sixth fastest and is currently sixth overall.

Citroën driver Mikko Hirvonen rolled his car dramatically, and will not play any further part in today’s action. Fortunately, neither Hirvonen nor his co-driver Jarmo Lehtinen was injured.


11:30 (CET)

Tracking through the mud.


As the second man out behind team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala, Sébastien Ogier was able to employ this handy tactic on the opening stage of day two at the Rally Great Britain. The Frenchman arrived at the finish of the 32-kilometre “Hafren” stage a commanding 9.7 seconds ahead of Thierry Neuville (Ford). “I saw the tracks from Jari-Matti’s tyres, and was able to use his line. That was a great help,” said the leader. Latvala was third fastest, twelve seconds off the pace. “Not the best time, but let’s see how things develop today,” said the Finn, summing up the early action.


Andreas Mikkelsen was seventh on SS4, 23.9 seconds behind the leader. Ogier now leads the overall standings by 12.9 seconds, ahead of Neuville. Latvala is third, a further 4.3 seconds back.


11:00 (CET)

50 shades of gravel.

At previous gravel rallies, it has always been the same story after qualifying: the fastest man always opted to start as far down the order as possible. Not so in Wales, however: top qualifier Sébastien Ogier (Polo R WRC #8) decided to be the second man out onto the route. In doing so, he caused quite a stir, as everyone had counted on him reaching for rugby ball number 1. The reason behind the reverse thinking this week is the weather in Wales, which can have a huge influence on the surface conditions. The sun was shining at the gravel rallies in Mexico, Greece and Italy, resulting in bone-dry special stages. In these conditions – for a while, at least – the ideal racing line becomes cleaner with every car that passes over it, as each competitor ‘sweeps’ the loose gravel to the side.


In contrast, the special stages in Wales are mostly damp, with Thursday’s heavy rain causing some spots to be ankle-deep in mud and standing water. Rather than clearing the racing line, the 300-hp four wheel-drive powerhouses rip up the surface. The effect is even more dramatic when fresh rain transforms the roads into what are essentially mud-baths. “The ruts get deeper with every car,” said Jari-Matti Latvala (Polo R WRC #7), explaining his decision to start first.


On the other side of the coin, the ruts created by the opposition ahead of them do offer a certain degree of assistance to rally drivers. This is especially true when, like in the Welsh forests, the level of grip is changing constantly and you can be caught out by a surprisingly slippery section at any time. “If the ruts created by the man in front head off into the ditch, it is always a good warning,” said Sébastien Ogier. And there you have the reason for the Frenchman opting to start second, behind his team-mate Latvala.


The special stages of the day

09:00 (CET)

Thursday, 14.11.2013


Last pictures (23)
23:30 (CEST)


Classification after 3 of 22 stages

Position Driver / Co-driver Total Time Diff 1st  
1 S. Ogier / J. Ingrassia 14:28.3    
2 T. Neuville / N. Gilsoul 14:31.5 +3.2  
3 J. Latvala / M. Anttila 14:33.5 +5.2  
4 M. Hirvonen / J. Lehtinen 14:44.5 +16.2  
5 M. Østberg / J. Andersson 14:53.0 +24.7  
6 A. Mikkelsen / M. Markkula 14:56.1 +27.8  
7 R. Kubica / M. Ferrara 15:03.7 +35.4  
8 E. Novikov / I. Minor 15:05.8 +37.5  
9 E. Evans / D. Barritt (WRC2) 15:35.2 +1:06.9  
10 M. Prokop / M. Ernst 15:35.9 +1:07.6  

23:40 (CET)

“We have been involved in a really close tussle.”

Statements from the Volkswagen team.

 

Jari-Matti Latvala, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #7


“After qualifying, I opted to start first – and this decision appears to have been the right one. I was able to match the pace of Sébastien Ogier and Thierry Neuville, who had decided to start later. The three of us at the front of the field have been involved in a really close tussle so far. The night stages were quite tricky: sections with good grip alternated with some very slippery spots. Finding the right rhythm for these conditions and pacing yourself intelligently is the key to being successful here in Great Britain. The first two stages went really well for us, but it was a bit more slippery on the third. Despite this, I think starting first will still be a good decision come tomorrow.”

 

Sébastien Ogier, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #8

“A great start to the Rally Great Britain for us. It didn’t take me long to find my rhythm after qualifying. Whatever happens here, I can take a very relaxed approach. The Rally Great Britain is not normally one of my favourites. It is very easy to make a mistake and crash out. For this reason, it is particularly important to adopt the mindset that the rally is not over until the very last stage. It was not easy in the dark today, and it is extremely slippery on the muddy gravel roads. The coming days will definitely be a real challenge – particularly on Saturday and Sunday, when we are on the road all day without a midday service. This puts a lot of strain on the car and tyres.” 

 

Andreas Mikkelsen, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #9

“For me, the start of the Rally Great Britain is like returning home. This is where I started my career. I really like the countryside in Wales and feel right at home here. However, the conditions are also particularly difficult and I must adapt my driving style in the Polo R WRC to suit the slippery sections. I love night stages and they are quite simply a fantastic experience in a World Rally Car. I am happy with the start I have made here in Wales, although I did pack too much information into my pace notes. This resulted in me losing time, particularly on the second stage. However, I am already looking forward to the next three days of rallying.”


Numbers of the day.

It was exactly 302 day ago that Volkswagen driver Sébastien Ogier recorded his first stage victory of the season amid the snow of Monte Carlo. That was the start of an outstanding year for the Frenchman, but that victory is now ten months past and has since disappeared from memory like the snow of Monte Carlo. At the start of the Wales Rally GB, Ogier celebrated stage victories no. 102 and 103 of the current season - and there will be a further 19 opportunities to increase this total in the coming three days.

Team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala is also on the hunt for points in Wales. He turned in a Champagne-start performance on Thursday. The Volkswagen driver required exactly 4:44.4 minutes to complete the 6.95-kilometre-long first special stage, Gwydyr. Clearly a number, which will lend itself to some celebrating for the Finn - but the driver, co-driver and team will have to wait till Sunday to be certain. This is because, in an ideal scenario, the last day will deliver the World Championship runner-up spot to compliment the Championship title, which team-mate Sébastien Ogier has already secured - and that would be another great reason to celebrate.


22:00 (CET)

First, then first, then second.

 

World Champion Sébastien Ogier (Polo R WRC #8) missed out on the perfect start to Wales Rally GB by just 0.4sec. After two victories in the first two special stages, the Volkswagen driver conceded defeat to Ford's Thierry Neuville by the narrowest of margins during the last few metres of Thursday's action on the 7.52-kilometre-long SS3, Clocaenog 1.

 

Nevertheless, Ogier will start Friday as the leader in the overall standings. With a time of 14:28.3 minutes, the 29-year-old driver is 3.2sec faster than Neuville after three of the 22 special stages. The Polo R WRC #7 of team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala, who was third in SS3 after finishing the two previous stages in second place, follows a further 2sec off the lead. Andreas Mikkelsen (#9) is currently occupying a comfortable sixth position.


21:00 (CET)

World Championship quality in Wales.

 

Volkswagen Motorsport are emphasizing their world-championship form here during the first special stages of Wales Rally GB. After a one-two victory in the very first stage, Sébastien Ogier (Polo R WRC #8) and Jari-Matti Latvala (#7) were again unbeatable in the second SS. World Champion Ogier completed the 10.51-kilometre Penmachno course in just 5:18.9 minutes, team-mate Latvala was the only one able to keep pace with the Frenchman, finishing only 0.9 seconds off the lead.

 

Thierry Neuville in the Ford again finished in third, Andreas Mikkelsen (Polo R WRC #9) fell back somewhat and slipped down into sixth place in the overall standings. To complete the day's action, Clocaenog 1, the third of a total 22 special stages, will be raced over 7.52 kilometres before the drivers can take some well-earned rest.


20:35 (CET)

One-two lead in the darkness.

 

Even the final rally of the season is going according to plan for Volkswagen Motorsport from the outset. Despite already securing the World Championship title for Sébastien Ogier, Co-drivers' title for Julien Ingrassia and the team celebrating the Manufacturer's title, the Polo R WRC pilots are still going flat out at the Wales Rally GB.


The first special stage of Gwydyr, raced over 6.95 kilometres, was won by Ogier (Polo R WRC #8) with a 1.3sec advantage over Jari-Matti Latvala (#7). Andreas Mikkelsen (#9) rounded off an almost perfect result for Volkswagen Motorsport in fourth place. Only Ford's Thierry Neuville was able to separate the trio by coming home third in the dark.


14:50 (CET)

 “Just wanted to try something different”:
Latvala takes position 1 and Ogier 2.

Volkswagen drivers Jari-Matti Latvala (Polo R WRC #7) and Sébastien Ogier (Polo R WRC #8) will go out at the front of the field for the first special stage of Wales Rally GB. As the fastest in qualifying, Ogier had first pick and opted for the second start position of his own choice. “Everyone figured I would go for one, but I just wanted to try something different,” the Frenchman backed up with a wink.

 

Team-mate Latvala on the other hand chose the first starting position. “I think it will continue to rain and the courses will get seriously muddy," the Finn explained. "Then having the first starting position will be advantage.” Andreas Mikkelsen (Polo R WRC #9) will run out in the first stage in ninth.


13:00 (CET)

Ogier a hair's breadth faster than Neuville.

Enthralling start to Rally Great Britain. Sébastien Ogier racing in the Polo R WRC #8 and Ford's Thierry Neuville clocked identical times in today's qualifying session: 1.52.7 minutes. Only when a more accurate verification of the timing systems was employed, was it revealed that Ogier very narrowly had his nose in front - he was seven hundredths of a second faster than Neuville. "I have always performed well at this rally, but in the past somehow it never really clicked for me," Ogier commented. "I hope that everything is ready this time." 

 
With typical rainy British weather conditions, both drivers were 1.8 seconds faster than the Ford of Evgeny Novikov. Jari-Matti Latvala (Polo R WRC #7) finished qualifying in fourth place, 2.1 seconds off the pace. Andreas Mikkelsen in the third Polo R WRC (#9) took ninth spot. At 14:30 (CET) the drivers must decide from which starting position they want to attack Thursday's three special stages this evening.


The special stages of the day

10:00 (CET)


09:30 (CEST)

4,000 new co-drivers for Mikkelsen – Norwegian's Polo R WRC given a makeover with fans' faces .


Andreas Mikkelsen and his co-driver Mikko Markkula won't be alone when they climb into their Polo R WRC with start number 9 for Rally Great Britain – for the season final, the car's bodywork has been adorned with just under 4,000 photos of rally fans that were collected online. "With this gesture, we are recognising all the Volkswagen fans who have supported us and our teammates throughout the year," explained Mikkelsen.

Previews

Tuesday, 12.11.2013


16:45 (CET)

“I feel more at home in the Polo R WRC now than ever before.”

Statements from the Volkswagen Team.

 

Jari-Matti Latvala, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #7

“The Rally Great Britain is like a second home rally for me. I made my first start in the World Rally Championship in Wales in 2002. Despite the weather, which is often poor and challenging, I have very fond memories of the rally. The layout and rhythm of the stages are unique. I like quick routes – and this is definitely a quick rally. I am really looking forward to the rally and can take a very relaxed approach. I would obviously like to be in contention for a podium, especially as second and third place are still up for grabs in the Drivers’ Championship. However, the most important thing is that we are not under any pressure, as we have already won the Manufacturers’ Championship. I will drive as quickly as possible and just enjoy the final rally of the season.”

Sébastien Ogier, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #8
“I am sure we will enjoy the Rally Great Britain, as it is the first event of the season where we do not feel any pressure at all. No tactics, just full throttle from the word go. Volkswagen has won the Manufacturers’ title, and Julien and myself have secured the Co-drivers’ and Drivers’ Championship. The rally has never been my favourite, but with more and more experience my confidence to approach this rally is growing. Some features are not very welcoming: low temperatures, rain, fog and muddy roads through the Welsh forests. I know that this sounds like ‘rally paradise’ for my team-mates – and I have to agree with them. There is probably no better way to end a rally season with a win in Wales. So that’s my goal.”

Andreas Mikkelsen, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #9
“The Rally Great Britain is obviously a special place for me. I was just 17 when I started driving in rallies. However, I gained most of my experience the following year and in 2010, when we won the SWRC in Wales. There are a few new special stages awaiting us. However, that really plays into my hands – especially the ‘Great Orme’ special stage, which returns to the itinerary this season. We have held the record for this stage since 2006. It is a great feeling to return to this special place. It would be fantastic to end the season with a good result. I feel more at home in the Polo R WRC now than ever before.”

Monday, 08.11.2013


12:00 (CET)

Latvala in pursuit of honorary title – Vice-champion position still within reach for the Finn in the season final.

Volkswagen and Sébastien Ogier are already the world champions. So now the remaining contenders are vying for the honorary title of vice-champion. Jari-Matti Latvala could clinch this position in the season final in the UK. He is trailing the current second-placed driver Thierry Neuville (Ford) by exactly 14 points ahead of the Wales Rally GB (the name by which the WRC event officially goes) on 14 to 17 November. “It’s a challenge, but its doable,” says Latvala, summing up the situation.

If we believe the statistics, the chances are actually quite good for the Finn who drives for Volkswagen Motorsport. All Latvala has to do is repeat his performance from last year, when he and his co-driver Miikka Anttila scored their second win in the UK, with Neuville trailing in seventh place. An identical result in Wales would make Latvala the new vice-champion.

However, a number of different factors mix things up a little this time around. Firstly, Latvala is now behind the wheel of a Polo R WRC. Secondly, the 2012 Wales Rally GB was held in the relatively mild month of September, but is now back in its usual November spot. Stormy late autumn weather with horizontal rain or thick fog, tracks with mud that comes up to your ankles, an early dusk and some relatively high speeds make the Wales Rally GB an extra special challenge. “Even so, it’s still one of my favourite rallies,” says Latvala.

In 2012, Latvala was on course for victory, but still had to contend with Sébastien Ogier, who was driving a Škoda Fabia in Super 2000 category – a vehicle class in which he was an expert, but one that wasn’t a real contender for the overall win.

2008 is perhaps a better example of what Ogier is capable of on the slippery tracks in Wales. It was the first time he and his co-driver Julien Ingrassia were competing in a World Rally Car (WRC), but he gave the more established players a run for their money on tracks that were even partially frozen. “I still need to add a win in the UK to my collection,” the world champion has said.

For Andreas Mikkelsen, who will be driving the third Polo R WRC as usual, Rally Great Britain is one of the WRC events that he has had the most experience in. The Norwegian had his WRC debut here in 2007 and this year he is determined to beat his best result so far – tenth overall in the Super 2000 category in 2010.

This year’s rally comprises 22 special stages over a total distance of around 312 kilometres. Some of the shorter stages, including the final stage on the Great Orme headland, are on asphalt. But the Wales Rally GB officially being a gravel event, the drivers will have to compete on gravel tyres. The many spectators who will congregate in the parks to see the stages are therefore guaranteed a great show.

Friday, 01.11.2013


10:20 (CET)

“The bespoke racing oils are developed for motorsport use only. Interview with Will Pickford, Technical Motorsports Manager at Castrol.


Mr Pickford, Volkswagen Motorsport clinched all three titles in its debut year in the World Rally Championship. To what extent was Castrol involved in developing the WRC Polo as a technical partner?
The Castrol motorsport technical team was deeply involved with the Polo R WRC engine development programme well ahead of the team entering the WRC championship. Bespoke racing oils were fully performance tested at Volkswagen Motorsport.

Does the oil for the Polo R WRC differ from standard oils in sales?
The bespoke racing oils are developed for motorsport use only as they don’t need to be developed for extended drain intervals or meet automotive industry standards like a road car. This allows the oil to be optimised for both power and protection under extreme operating conditions. However the philosophy is exactly the same as that used in the development of Castrol EDGE – it uses the best technologies available to produce the best oil for the application.

Are different oils used in the various different rallies? After all, there are some extreme temperature differences, with temperatures ranging from minus 12 degrees in Rally Monte Carlo to 32 degrees during Rally Italy?
We have 2 different engine oils in use at any time for the WRC application, This helps the team to optimise the engine performance for ‘hot’ & ‘cold’ WRC event conditions, though the team additionally optimise the vehicle cooling efficiency depending on the event to fine tune.

Which challenges had to be faced during the development of the oil? How long does it take?
Maximising performance gain for motorsport through engine oil is always a significant technical challenge as the priorities of maximum power and engine durability for extreme operation somewhat oppose each other. In the development of the race oils it was important to understand the trade-off between power gain and durability and significant effort was put into this though candidate development at Castrol and rig and engine testing at Volkswagen Motorsport ahead of the inaugural WRC season. Development of the initial race oil was a phased activity that had a duration of around 6-9 months.

With an achievement of 315 HP with just 1.6 litres of cubic capacity the Polo WRC is a prime example for the current Downsizing trend with engines. Does the Downsizing change the requirements for engine oil?
A general trend for downsized engines is a smaller oil sump capacity, this means less oil in the system and therefore the oil is working harder in a number of ways. The relatively high specific output of these engines means increased heat rejection to the oil, higher bearing loads and higher fuel dilution rates all of which reduce the effective lifetime of the oil.

 

Are there any regulations prescribing how many litres of oil may be brought to a WRC Rally?
Oil is unrestricted by technical or sporting regulation and therefore unlike engine hardware or fuel specification. As a consequence, whereas performance gain is limited by regulation in most areas, oil development is where a significant amount of performance advantage can be gained.

 

What happens with too low oil level during a running WP? Do the drivers have an oil can aboard? Are there service vehicles which help if necessary?
Oil consumption rate is not excessive in the WRC engines so there is no requirement to top up the level between stages. All fluid levels will be checked at the scheduled services between stages.

 

How often is the oil changed during a running rallye?
Every scheduled service at the end of a Rally, it is very quick to change the oil and WRC cars running a turbocharger anti-lag system can generate large amounts of fuel dilution in the oil which effectively lowers the working fluid viscosity. By changing the oil this fuel is removed and the working fluid viscosity is restored.

 

Are special oil filters used? If so, to what extent do these differ from standard types?
No, we use normal car oil filters.

 

Is the oil (analogously to the formula 1) heated up on operating temperature before a cold start?
No, this is not possible for WRC events – both the engine and oil must work over much wider temperature ranges and therefore this is an additional technical challenge.